By Steve Oko
No fewer than 90 students of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU, made first class as the institution is set to graduate 6609 students on Saturday.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe who disclosed this at a pre-convocation press conference Wednesday, said 1,775 out of 5815 regular students passed with second class upper division, while 2905 graduated with second class lower division.
According to him, 1226 passed with third class while 18 had ordinary pass.
The Vice-Chancellor who restated his commitment to transform the university identified the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the university and the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, to engage in the development of of 400 hectares of land for agricultural research and demonstration purposes as one of the landmark achievements under his watch.
He disclosed that land clearing had commenced at the site, adding that the university would also embark on massive poultry farm and ranching for economic purposes.
Professor Iwe also said his administration would aggressively pursue ” excellence-driven and productive research culture” especially in agriculture, science, engineering and management to solve societal problems and priority national needs.
” One of the recent outstanding achievements of the university in research is the exceptional performance of one of us, Professor M. C. O Ezeibe, who received an achievement award for excellent performance at the 2021 Science, Technology and Innovation Expo at Abuja in recognition of his work on possible control of Covid-19 and related viral diseases with Medicinal Synthetic Aluminum Magnesium Silicate”, he said.
He also promised to continue to promote the welfare of staff and students of the university, while pledging prudent management of scarce resources.
The VC later commissioned Biscuits & Bread factory, as well as petrol station built by the university as one of the ways to shore up its revenue base.
He also reiterated his commitment to the 12 core values of his administration which include :development of encouragement and people sensitive technology to enhance wellbeing of farmers, integrated and coordinated agricultural programme, deligence and transparency in action, among others.
Responding to a question on the efforts of the management to convert the institution into a conventional university, the VC said the federal government had not changed the law establishing the institution as a university of agriculture.
He however, hinted that some National Assembly members from the state were being engaged for possible political solution to the project which previous administations had proposed.
” We are pursuing it diplomatically and politically”, he said, and wished that the proposal would sail through.